Hindsight & Thankfulness

2017 was an eventful year!  About 15 years ago God started encouraging me to write & tell my story.  In 2016, after working on this story for more than 10 years, I hired an awesome developmental editor, Cindy Cutts, to help me bring this project to fruition.  It was a hard story to write because I had to dig deep -with honesty and objectivity- and relate ALL the relevant parts of my past...not just the parts that would bring me sympathy.  God wanted me to tell the ugly parts too.  For a long time I thought that was so others could benefit but now I know it was also for my own personal healing.  God is so good.

In February, 2017 I published Shattered Lies and began accepting speaking engagements.  


At the same time I started assembling a team to take to Kenya on a mission trip.  We did fund raising and months of preparation and training.  We gathered our community and made more than 100 personalized, handmade gifts of love for the 100 children sponsored by our Church (Christ Community Church) through Christ's Hope International (CHI).


On May 30th, our team of 8 departed for Kisumu, Kenya.  For 2 weeks we brought love and encouragement to those infected with and affected by HIV/AIDs.  It was my 3rd trip in 7 years and as always I left a big part of my heart in Kenya.  As my team flew home, I was blessed to join another team with CHI, the Ride for Hope, Lake Victoria.  Starting in Kampala, Uganda a team of 20 or so supported 25 bicycle riders as we traveled 600 miles around Lake Victoria...through Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania.  The purpose of the ride was to raise awareness and funds to support the education of children in East Africa.  It gave me such joy to look into the faces of children throughout these countries, asking them about their hopes and dreams, and making sure they knew they are loved and valuable.


Upon returning home after a month abroad I learned one of my dear nieces was losing her battle against cancer.  She was fierce in her passion for life and art and community.  She passed two weeks after I got home.  My grief has been deep and lingering.


I am grateful that I was able to retire 2 years ago from AT&T.  It has given me time to write, make art, go to Africa and so much more.  It has also allowed me the time to grieve.  I continue to journal as I have for 40+ years and this year I am learning so much.  I've found retirement to be an unsettled place for me.  On the one hand I have an income without working anymore and yet I have been so deeply wired to be productive that it is very hard to dial that down.  Still, in my quiet time with God He has given me a priceless message.  He has assured me that He's pleased with my dedication and obedience AND He's told me it is time to rest.

Before the year began I joined Susannah Conway in a search for "my word for 2017".  Since there were no hard and fast rules for this endeavor I ended up with 3 words: Visible with Ease.  I knew God wanted me to follow through after writing my book with the telling part, so I had to stay Visible.  I also knew He didn't want me to be frenetic about it.  So now I am moving in to the Ease part of my word.  I'm thinking it will likely flow into 2018 as well...  

I know this for sure.  The pressure, which I so easily inflict on myself, is OFF.  I'm saying, "No" more often and fiercely protecting my studio time.  This is my time... time to rest, to make art, to write, to play with my dog, Frida.  And if I feel like it, I know God is always ready to take me deeper.  I've learned that for as much junk as I dug up in writing my book, there is still more to uncover.  But there's no rush.  Now is the time for EASE.

Join me in being KIND to yourself.  At this season of Thanksgiving I am overcome with gratefulness.  May God bless you and keep you.  He thinks you're pretty special!


Unleashed...the back story


I'm so glad you're here.

I am Pamela... passionate, truth teller, unleashed!

I've always had an extra dose of passion.  I LOVE so many things and get excited very easily...  I'm passionate about people, especially the marginalized, misunderstood and neglected.  The invisible people.  I love God and all of his creation (albeit ants and spiders...not so much).  I love making art, serving others, worshiping with abandon, singing and dancing, and SO much more.  

In this era of "alternative truth" I am finding my true voice.  God's voice.  His guiding Spirit that abides in me.  Over the last many years He's been unraveling my life and sorting the wheat from the chaff.  It's been painful.  To see that so much of the foundation on which I propped myself up to appear to be "fabulous" was simply a lie.  Or more accurately a pack of lies.

Like many I've been plagued by the voices of my past reminding me of the shame.  Though I am relatively new to blogging I've been keeping journals for the last 4 decades.  In the last 15 years, as I've poured out my heart to God in the pages of my journal, He's been saying, "write your story", "tell your story". It's not a narrative I'm proud of but I know it's one He wants to use. 

My story began in a house of lies.  The family we showed to the outside world was not the one I lived with.  As a child I was well practiced at hiding in plain sight.  I learned to fade into the wall paper to avoid the wrath of Mom.  I became an observer, learning what things would set her off and learning to avoid those situations...deflect, distract, diminish.  I developed strategies as a child before I even knew what a strategy was.  I became a strong performer and a dependable people-pleaser and care-giver.  Those parts of my whole protected me and helped me survive as a child but there came a time when those strategies no longer served me.

As a child I believed in the Cinderella story and I searched long and hard for Prince Charming. Before I was 25 I'd been married and divorced three times.  It wasn't until seven years later when I was on the brink of a fourth divorce that I realized what I'd been doing.

I'd been hiding.

It was a subconsciously controlled camouflage that enabled me to 'become' whatever I needed to be in order to secure the deal...get the proposal.  Once married, after six months or so I would start to slither out of my protective layer.  Like a snake in moulting season I would emerge.  The REAL me. Or at least more of me.  And I was rejected.  Routinely.  I guess it makes sense; without realizing it I was pulling a sort of bait and switch operation...

I didn't have a base of confidence or any real belief that I was simply good enough.  I always had to be better.  I fought hard through life falling victim to financial ruin including bankruptcy, federal tax liens and nine pages of ugly credit.  I suffered the deep heartache of fractured relationships and the debilitation of failing health.  But that was THEN.

After spending my first 25 years doing life my way and failing miserably, I reluctantly asked Jesus to save me.  Our relationship has taken decades to develop from one of cynical skepticism to cautious optimism and finally sold-out-grateful believer.  


Not long ago, as I was talking with God while driving up to see some of my favorite healers, Andrew and Naomi Downey, I had a revelation.  I was thinking about the significant ways that God has spoken to me through the healing touch of Andrew and Naomi (see Chapter 16 in Shattered Lies).  Here in northern California it had been raining for DAYS yet on this day the rain had been replaced with magnificent clouds against a bright blue sky with beams of sunlight piercing through.


I was thinking about this BLOG and my new website, asking God, "Who Am I?"  "Who do You want me to show the world?"

Suddenly that piercing beam of sunlight spoke directly to me heart: "You are MINE.  You are LOVED.  You are FREE of your past.  The future is WIDE OPEN!  You can be whoever you want to be."

The tears started flowing and I gasped big sobs while drying my eyes to see where I was driving.  It felt like I'd been wearing every piece of clothing I've ever owned...layer on top of layer; the weight nearly unbearable.  And now God was saying, "Let it go.  Come out from under that weight.  You are free.  UNLEASHED."

I arrived at Graceful Health and was able to share with my beloved practitioners the new truth I found on my way to see them.  Together we celebrated all that we've been through.  It's just one example of how God has interwoven my life with those around me.  I am so blessed.

How about you?  Are you carrying a heavy burden?  Is it time to lighten the load?  I'd love to hear your story.

Please come back often.  We are better together.